Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

1513 Words Nov 16th, 2015 null Page
In Shakespeare’s Othello, we have the characters Othello and Iago who seem so similar but yet so different. They both come from poor backgrounds, but are very ambitious and strive for better lives. As Camille Wells argue, Iago like Othello “values independence from constraints, and like Othello, he assumes that service rather than birth, rank, or faction should be rewarded and that a position of responsibility in the state constitutes reward” (Slights 380). Despite their similarities they are very different at the same time; Othello the great, the man who puts justice first, and Iago the selfish, jealous being who cares for no one but himself. Francis bacon defines ambition like a “choler: which is an humor that maketh men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and stirring, if it be not stopped. But if it be stopped, and cannot have his way, it becometh adust, and thereby malign and venomous” (Bacon 2). Bacon’s philosophy is true for Iago but not applicable to Othello. The tragedy in Othello doesn’t come from Othello’s inability to manage ambitious men like Iago, but from the evil that resides in the men, and as Fred West says Iago “is an accurate portrait of a psychopath” (West 27). In “An Apology for the character and conduct of Iago” the apologist writes “… if vengeance can be vindicated by an accumulation of injuries, Iago though exorbitant, was just” (Exerter 409). This excuse is irrational and absurd because Iago succumbed to no injuries, he…

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